ROGUE TROOPER REDUX Reviews

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Slam Shot Sam
622,539 (336,183)
Slam Shot Sam
TA Score for this game: 2,052
Posted on 26 October 17 at 12:01, Edited on 04 November 17 at 00:45
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Rogue Trooper Redux | Xbox One | Review

A remaster of Rogue Trooper, Rebellion’s 2006 shooter based on the 2000 AD comic of the same name, Redux brings the visuals right up to date, but how has the passing of eleven years and two console generations come to impact the gameplay?

You play as Rogue, a blue-skinned, empty-eyed super soldier genetically manufactured for combat on Nu-Earth, a planet ravaged by war as Northern and Southern factions fight for control with weapons of mass destruction. Labelled a freakish abomination by the enemy, you and your GI (Genetic Infantrymen) brethren can breathe the toxic Nu-Earth air, placing you at a distinct advantage over the humans that require heavy and combustible breathing apparatus.

This setup is an immediately promising one, raising issues of questionable ethics and science, though it quickly becomes apparent you’re actually in for a schlocky action romp. There’s definitely a place for that, but Rogue Trooper has a nasty habit of introducing characters without fanfare and refusing to develop them, while also skipping over important parts of the story with jarring level transitions. Though this does serve to keep you in the thick of it, the in-game encyclopaedia reveals that so much more could have been done narratively, with a lineage of engaging comic book lore to draw from.

The weak story and characters are perhaps an unchangeable relic of the past, though some work on animations and lip-sync would’ve helped convey what little's here with a bit more clout.

It’s at least forgivable when Rogue Trooper’s many action sequences - the game’s foremost aspect, after all - have translated well. Your aptly-named comrades very quickly begin to fall as the Normandy landings-inspired opening gets underway, leading Rogue to implant their combat chips into pieces of his equipment. Gunnar, Bagman and Helm live on through Rogue (or his gun, bag and helmet), whilst greatly expanding his arsenal with powerful new abilities.

The in-game encyclopaedia reveals that so much more could have been done narratively, with a lineage of engaging comic book lore to draw from.
Linear levels offer a decent amount of elbow room, which, combined with your range of weapons and abilities, allows for some freedom of approach. A fairly robust stealth system can see you equip a silencer and snipe distant targets, then make use of cover to sneak in and mop the stragglers up with melee kills; whereas running in guns blazing from the hip, lobbing explosives every which way, is just as valid an option, thanks to a forgiving level of difficulty and AI that obviously graduated from stormtrooper academy. As ever, perhaps the most entertaining approach is a hybrid of the two, for example, deploying your rifle as a stationary turret before using a holographic decoy to lure enemies into the trap, then slipping away courtesy of your manufactured distraction. However you might choose to play, being able to craft generous amounts of resources with gathered salvage ensures you can keep stock of your favourite ammo types and continue to enjoy the game as you see fit.

Back in its day this was pretty innovative design, which has helped Rogue Trooper preemptively ensure its gameplay is still satisfying today, meeting modern standards and even being reminiscent of a more rudimentary Sniper Elite 4.

Some sharp visual upgrades and a solid technical performance, outside of a rare few hitches, help to modernise the areas that haven’t aged as well. That said, mod cons like a weapon wheel, sprint function, and the ability to shoulder swap would have been very welcome additions. A toggleable cover option would have helped in countering the sometimes overzealous automatic system, whilst we’d have also liked to disable assisted aiming, regardless of its significance to the character. Implementing these simple quality of life tweaks could have elevated the experience on the whole.

Innovative design helped Rogue Trooper preemptively ensure its gameplay is still satisfying today.
The campaign likely won’t see you past the six hour mark, cutting off before the samey string of levels start to take their toll, meaning it falls to the multiplayer suite to hold your attention in the long term. Unfortunately, it most likely won’t. There’s no competitive play on offer, just co-op, and only two modes with a sparse few maps between them. Progressive tasks players with completing an objective before the team’s shared pool of lives runs dry, while Stronghold is a horde mode in which you’ll need to survive for the allotted timespan. There are three instances of the former and two of the latter, which are also playable solo, but getting through everything either on your lonesome or with friends won’t take long at all. When you also factor in the barren matchmaking and an ill-considered achievement for killing a teammate, leading to shots in the back, the online offering becomes somewhat throwaway.

Rogue Trooper Redux’s budget price point helps to offset the relative content drought, though what’s here is good ol’ fashioned fun that, for the most part, feels current, rather than dated. Having laid the groundwork for a sequel eleven long years ago, Redux feels like Rebellion testing the waters to see if there’s justification to finally make good on a second trip to Nu-Earth, which in itself is reason to support this remaster, as that could be something special.

Pros

+ Range of weapons and abilities accommodate multiple play styles
+ A sharp visual upgrade
+ Honest, simple fun
+ In-game encyclopaedia delivers interesting Rogue Trooper lore in concise fashion

Cons

- Disappointing story could have been so much more
- Dumb enemy and allied AI
- Weak multiplayer offering

7/10

Achievements:

Rogue Trooper Redux is a very quick and easy completion, personally taking me under eight hours to 100% while posing little to no challenge. The only real online achievement is for killing a teammate (which really sucks), as you can launch a match solo after hosting an online lobby to do the Progressive and Stronghold mode achievements on your own. That said, a helping hand in surviving a 15 minute Stronghold for Long Haul Stronghold wouldn't go amiss.

You'll likely need to do a little bit of grinding for salvage and kills to gather the remaining achievements once you've done everything else, but nothing bad, probably an hour at most.

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Originally written for Pass the Controller, a digital copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.

You can check out my PlayStation reviews over at TrueTrophies.

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